The Definitive Guide To Hosting An Instagram Takeover
Reading Time: 10 minutes
Have you ever opened your Instagram app and then suddenly seen someone new in your stories? Or on your feed? Maybe you did a double take. Maybe you wondered if you accidentally followed someone without realizing it. But you probably shook your head and paid attention to what this new person was actually saying, only to discover that they were taking over one of the accounts you follow.
Maybe it was an intern taking over for the day so you could get to know them. Perhaps an executive was online, answering questions and showing the behind-the-scenes of a day in the life. Or maybe it was a celebrity or an influencer showcasing their love for the brand you follow. No matter what it was, chances are you paid attention because it was new, different, and probably at least a little bit fun.
Instagram takeovers often occur between an influencer and a brand, although it can occur in different scenarios as well. This is a great option for expanding your brand’s audience, promoting your product or services, or simply to form a new partnership. There are multiple types of Instagram takeovers: Stories, Lives, and Posts. We’ll look closer at each of these a little later.
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How A Successful Instagram Takeover Can Help You Gain More Followers & Better Your Marketing Strategy
Just as with any influencer or brand partnership, participating in a takeover is a great way to expand your Instagram followers. Whether you take over an influencer’s Instagram or they take over yours, this is a great strategy for reaching a wider audience. Here, though, we’re going to focus on how you can host an Instagram takeover.
When an influencer takes over your Instagram for a day, they’ll likely tell their audience about it in advance, (and perhaps throughout the day!), and encourage them to come and tune in to see their posts. This way, those audience members will be introduced to your brand. Whether it’s the first time or the fifth time you’ve handed over your account, having someone else run your Instagram for a day can be a fun change for your audience.
Instagram takeovers are also part of a good overall marketing strategy. It’s a popular tactic currently, but it’s not overused to the point where people ignore them. Having a diverse marketing strategy and using many different tactics gives you a chance to appeal to as many people as possible.
How to Do An Instagram Takeover and Set Your Brand Up for Success
1. Establish Goals and Metrics
As with any marketing tactic, you’ll want to establish goals and metrics you’d like to hit before you start planning. Without goals and a way to measure your success, you’ll never know if Instagram takeovers are good for your business or not. Just because it’s good for one brand doesn’t mean it will necessarily work for yours.
So which metrics should you track, and what’s a good goal for an Instagram takeover? Like anything else, it depends on your business.
The metrics you’ll want to measure in this case would be signups, purchases (with a promo code to help track), or registrations, depending on your exact promotion. You’ll want to be careful though, when selecting your takeover host, because you want to make sure they align with and make sense for your brand and your goals.
Another great goal is to increase engagement on your Instagram. The metrics here are obvious. Depending on your exact goal, you should measure your likes, comments, direct messages, saves, or any other type of interaction you’re watching. If you want to train your audience to respond to your story questions or polls, having someone dynamic take over your stories can be a great tactic.
Finally, you could also have a goal to increase brand awareness and Instagram followers. Influencers are great at bringing more people to a platform, so this can be a good tactic if you’re looking to increase your follower count. You’ll want to be careful though, when selecting your takeover host, because you want to make sure they align with and make sense for your brand and your goals.
2. Find Your Takeover Host
While we started off saying that takeovers often involve an influencer, you could certainly choose someone else to host your takeover, depending on your goals. This could be someone in your company, an executive, another brand or even a member of your audience.
For example, you could have someone in your office take over your Instagram to show a behind-the-scenes look of an event you’re hosting. This can be a great option if you’re going to be in front of a group most of the day. Not only will your Instagram followers get to see a slightly different perspective, but they’ll also get to feel like they’re part of the event, even if they’re not there. This also works well if your brand is covering a major event, like @whowhatwear did with Paris Fashion Week.
Another option is to have a complimentary brand takeover your Instagram. This can be a great way to access an audience that could be interested in your brand. You could also offer to swap takeovers with the other brand, so you can bring their information to your audience, too.
Sometimes a great takeover is having one of your executives take over the Instagram. This is a great option if your account is usually run by a social media manager or someone else. Whether it’s an anniversary, launch day, or just a random Tuesday, bringing the executive onto the account can feel like a special event for your Instagram followers. The account @cultivatewhatmatters does this with their founder Lara Casey occasionally throughout the year.
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The classic takeover, though, is by an influencer. Many times brands will choose someone who has partnered with them in the past, as they already know about the brand. Sometimes, though, takeovers work well with new influencers your audience hasn’t met before. Influencers can offer you reach by sharing the takeover with their audience, and they can also bring their expertise in their industry, if possible. This means they can teach something or share an insight, which is a great way to provide value to your audience. The influencer can benefit, too, because they’ll have more exposure to your audience.
3. Choose Your Takeover Type
As we mentioned earlier, there are many types of takeovers your brand can run. Let’s take a closer look at each of the three major takeover types.
The Story Takeover
Story takeovers are probably the most popular to run. They can either be live or prepared in advance. Live story takeovers work best during something such as an event, where the takeover guest needs to be actively logged in and posting throughout the day. A story takeover that’s prepared in advance isn’t time bound and can be about anything. The account @1n5.org.stopthestigma, a nonprofit working to end the stigma around mental health, hosted a takeover that shared tips for their Instagram followers.
Live story takeovers work best when you have someone from your company running the takeover, or someone you’ve worked with frequently in the past. Because they’ll be posting throughout an event, you won’t have as much time to review the content in advance. Here you’ll either be with the takeover guest or you’ll need to give them access to your Instagram account so they can post.
Prepared story takeovers are great for you to host on your Instagram. Not only can they create the content on their own time, you can also get your hands on it in advance to have a chance to review and ensure it meets your brand guidelines and meets your expectations. When talking with your guest, give them a deadline to submit their takeover content to you. From there, you can review and approve it. Then, when it’s takeover day, get ready to post throughout the day and enjoy your takeover!
The Live Takeover
With a live takeover, your guests will put on an Instagram Live for your audience. As with live story takeovers, this often works best with members of your own team because you’ll need to hand over the login information for your account. During Rachel Hollis’s RisexFort Myers conference, someone on her team took over her Instagram Live for the day (and presumably the rest of her account). Not only were they able to share moments from the event, they also took her Instagram followers behind-the-scenes of a special birthday celebration for Rachel. This is a great way to make the people at home feel included.
The Post Takeover
Running an Instagram takeover using posts is one of the easiest types of takeovers to run. The person who will be taking over simply needs to create a post that meets your guidelines and then submit it to you by your deadline. After that, you can post it on the day of the takeover and promote it as you would any other takeover. (We’ll get to promoting in a moment.) This can be a great option for brands who want to showcase a customer or client. Wilton Cakes hosted a takeover from a baker. Her post takeover went on for 5 posts throughout the day.
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(Post 1/5) Hi my cake loving friends! 😃 This is Rachel Fujihara of @frostedfujicakes, and I am so thrilled to be taking over the @wiltoncakes page today, to share my Halloween inspired cake with you all. 🤗 Throughout today, we will go over some of my favorite cake decorating techniques – buttercream stripes, cookie cutter piping, & sprinkle placement. 😁 For this project, you’ll want to have a 3-layer, 6 inch round cake, crumb coated with an additional thick layer of black icing already on. You will need a batch of buttercream separated into 3 bowls colored with orange, yellow and white. You will also want a Wilton cake icing smoother, offset spatula, icing comb, and a handful of piping bags to help you achieve those seemingly perfect buttercream stripes that are all over Instagram! For further detail, you will want Wilton tips #18 & 1M, a candy corn cookie cutter and sprinkles of your choice! 🙌🏻✨ Now that you’re all set, let’s get started! And if you ever have any questions along the way, feel free to comment, and I’ll do my best to answer them. 🤗 – @frostedfujicakes #wiltoncakes #wiltonxfrostedfujicakes #halloween #halloweencake #cakesofig #cakelove #cakeart #cakecakecake #cakedesign #caketutorial #cakesinspiration #buttercream #buttercreamcake #candycorn #stripedcake
4. Pitch Your Instagram Takeover Idea
Once you’ve identified who you want to take over your account and what type of takeover you want them to do, it’s time to pitch. If it’s someone in your office, this will be an easy process. If you’re looking to work with someone outside of your company, it’s important that you prepare a good pitch.
First, you’ll want to introduce your potential guest to your brand. Explain to them who you are, what you do and why you’re making an impact in your industry. The more information you can share with them, the better they’ll understand you and be able to make an informed decision.
Then, you’ll want to explain why this partnership is beneficial for both of you. Chances are it will be obvious why the takeover will be good for your brand, so it’s very important that you’re able to explain well how this will be good for your guest. Whether you’re offering them exposure, the ability to be connected with your brand or another benefit, make sure it’s clear to them.
Finally, after they agree to do the takeover, tell them your requirements so that you’re both on the same page. Tell them your deadline or ideal date for the Instagram takeover, and make sure you explain any particular shooting guidelines, script outlines or music recommendations.
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5. Promote the Takeover
Both you and the person taking over can now start to promote the Instagram takeover. In the days leading up to the takeover, you’ll want to make sure your Instagram followers know about it. Not only can they get excited in advance, this also gives them time to tell their friends and bring them along for the takeover day.
One great way to do this is to use cross-promotion. If you’re doing a post takeover, talk about it in your stories. If you’re doing a stories takeover, mention it in your most recent Instagram Live. And make sure you tell your audiences on other social media platforms about it. Maybe your Facebook followers would be interested in checking out the takeover – so make sure they know about it!
When you’re promoting in Stories, make it fun! Use countdown stickers, polls and other engagement opportunities so you can really prime your audience for the takeover. This also makes it easy for your guest to share this with their audience through Stories to get them excited, too!
6. Measure Your Performance
Remember when you set your goals and decided the metrics to watch before you started your planning process? This is the time to close that loop. Analyze your Instagram takeover by watching the metrics your campaign should have affected. Did you get the results you were looking for from this takeover? If you were looking to increase awareness, see if your Instagram Profile Visits, Reach or Impressions grew during the takeover day. The success of your takeover is up to you and what you wanted from it. That’s why setting goals at the beginning is so important. Monitor your analytics over the next few days as results could be delayed, especially from post takeovers.
Wrapping Up Your Instagram Takeover
Congratulations, you’ve done it! Now you know how to do an Instagram takeover, and you’ve successfully done it! Hopefully you got the results you wanted, but if not, remember that you can always test and make adjustments to make your next takeover even better. If you hosted a Story takeover, make sure you save it to your highlights so your followers can access it in the future. Takeovers can be a great way to get more Instagram followers or engagement, depending on your goals. Are you ready to host your first takeover? It’s time to get started.
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